It was set up perfectly. It was a seller's market. Starting pitching was priced at a premium. The Detroit Tigers could have landed a top prospect or two. Many teams with deep farm systems were looking for starting pitching help.
Then, Eduardo Rodriguez squashed a deal to the Dodgers by invoking his no-trade clause. Unexpected, sure. Annoying even. But now it's time to pivot. What's the backup plan?
6 p.m. ET came and went, and Eduardo Rodriguez was not dealt. He remains a Detroit Tiger for the rest of the 2023 season, with his opt-out looming at season's end.
There's so sugarcoating this. Scott Harris botched his first trade deadline as Tigers president of baseball operations. He had an opportunity to get a huge return for one of the best pitchers on the market, and he got nothing.
Sure, they dealt Michael Lorenzen to the Philadelphia Philles — for a prospect in High-A. He looks like a solid prospect, but he does nothing to move the needle for this franchise. Harris needed to get a haul for E-rod, but he left the deadline empty-handed.
Now, he's backed himself into a corner. He basically has to negotiate an extension with E-rod, or risk letting him opt-out and walk for nothing. With the way he's pitching, he could easily double his salary in free agency.
It's not totally unfeasible. Rodriguez seems to like it here. After all, he vetoed a trade to a far better team to stay in Detroit. Maybe he would take a bit of a hometown discount to stay.
Not only did Harris not trade E-rod, he didn't trade any of his relievers. Jose Cisnero and Chasen Shreve are both free agents at the end of the year. There's no reason for them to be here. Yet, they are still Detroit Tigers on Aug. 2.
All this talk about the Tigers "holding the line" and "being the last man standing" ($$$) at the trade deadline, and we didn't get squat. Harris held out too long, and when he had deal that fell through, he didn't have enough time to think of something else, nor did it seem like he had a backup plan.
We've also heard about how creative and savvy Harris is, and we haven't seen any of that come to fruition. It's been all talk, no substance so far in Harris' tenure.
This trade deadline was an absolute failure for Harris. He had a real chance to prove himself and make his mark on this organization, and he swung and missed, which is excatly what he doesn't want his team to do. For a guy that wants his team to dominate and control the strike zone, he sure doesn't seem to lead by example.